Last Night’s Camp Quest Nightline Segment is Now Online

As I mentioned yesterday, Camp Quest Northwest was featured on last night’s Nightline. More details about the segment are on this page.

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I thought the campers and parents handled themselves wonderfully.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Rich Stage

    Amanda Metskas has done an amazing job with Camp Quest. My daughter has attended Camp Quest in both Michigan and Ohio, and the experience for her has been amazing.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    I loved the comment from the young lady at the end, that people are afraid of the unknown and that’s why they cling to religion, and she wasn’t afraid to admit that she doesn’t know what she would cling to in times of trouble.  “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer, we don’t know everything.

  • M. Elaine

    (04:00) “This is the 13th Camp Quest location.” — Clearly this is proof of atheism’s connection to satanism.

  • amycas

    In my own experience, I only know a few families raising their young children without church. So, tbh, I still feel weird when I hear young children talk about god or church in a skeptical manner. It’s refreshing and weird at the same time.

    I grew up in church, and I didn’t meet anyone skeptical until the fifth grade (one guy in my class), and then I didn’t meet another vocal non-christian until high school. Then I worked at a church nursery for a few years. My whole life, pretty much every young child I met was being raised in a church and they would be praised every time they said something positive about god. My personal experience has made my emotions conflict with what I intellectually believe.

    So, even though I think Camp Quest is awesome and I love the kids being able to speak their minds about their skepticism. I cringe because I was trained that children shouldn’t say things critical about religion, but I smile because it’s refreshing to hear them think for themselves. I didn’t realize until I watched this that I still had that wiring in my brain. I guess I still have indoctrination to get over.

  • Ubi Dubium

    The kids and parents were great, but I wasn’t as thrilled with the narration.  Atheist Camp?  Sheesh! Their report didn’t do much to clear up the misconceptions that xians have about Camp Quest.  I’ve seen blog articles from fundies claiming that it’s “atheist indoctrination”.  I would have liked to have seen more focus on the campers as “children of nonbelievers who are working out their answers for themselves”.

  • amycas

     That was my thought too. I also didn’t really see the need for the 10 seconds of speculation from Miller about children’s spirituality. It didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the piece.

  • Matt Jahnke

    What was missing was a psychologist that could point out the need for a safe place for these kids to go in a society permeated with religion. I think that is a major reason Camp Quest exists. Most other camps make non believers feel totally out of place.

  • rlrose63

    I loved how the interviewer was trying to get the kids to admit they’ve been brainwashed and that they really do need god.  Also, it bothered me a bit that the one kid said he has had to sneak a look at the bible because he’s curious what is in there.  We got a children’s bible for our son when he was 5 (he’s now 12) and have since read the KJV with him.  He’s very well aware of what is in the bible and even at 5, he was a little confused why someone would think it was real.  We read many different mythologies with him so to him, they’re all just stories people made up.  It is extremely important that we read the bible with our kids so they are aware of what is in there.

  • Pansies4me

    You beat me to the punchline! I had the very same thought.

  • Pansies4me

    I agree. Also, I’m skeptical of the whole “religion/spirituality is better for your health” claims. I suspect that it’s the community in churches that helps people, or even the privilege of being in the majority. Your beliefs are shorthand for “good person” to most of society. That would sure make me feel pretty good about myself.

  • Pansies4me

    When the interviewer said something about the kids needing to be exposed to religion so they can decide for themselves it made me cringe. NOT because I don’t agree with her in principle, but because my FIL made a similar comment after he found out I’m an atheist and we don’t go to church. After saying, “Does (my son) know he has a heavenly father?” to my husband he said, “Do you really think it’s fair not to teach him that?” As if my views don’t matter one whit. My husband was never taught about the reasons some people don’t believe in god, and neither was I when I was growing up, yet I’m supposed to teach my son about Jesus as if it were fact, and not just personal opinion. I really resent the double standard. My husband is apathetic about religion, but he does hold a belief in some sort of personal god. Religion would never even be brought up in our house if it wasn’t for me! When our son has the desire to explore what’s out there, we’re ready to give him the resources.

  • Lysistrata

    I was hoping that somebody in the segment would point out that society doesn’t consider it indoctrination if you send your child to bible camp so why is it indoctrination to send them to atheist camp.   Also,  I found the psychologist really weird as it implied that atheist children were not health.  As somebody who was an atheist teen even though I didn’t label myself that and who had to go to church till I was 18,  I never found any of the things she said to be true.